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Red-Spotted Purple 
Latin Name: Limenitis arthemis astyanax
 
Genus: Limenitis    Species: arthemis astyanax 
Family
Latin Name: Nymphalidae
Common Name: Brush-Foots
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Family Members
 
SubFamily
Latin Name: Limenitidinae
Common Name: Admirals and Relatives
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SubFamily Members

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Comments:
The Red-Spotted Purple, although lacking a hindwing tail, mimics the toxic Pipevine Swallowtail to gain protection from would-be predators. It is a common butterfly of immature woodlands but is rarely encountered in large numbers. Adults have a strong, gliding flight and are often quite wary. Males perch on sunlit branches along trails or forest borders and make periodic exploratory flights. Adults occasionally visit flowers but often prefer rotting fruit, dung, carrion or tree sap.
   
Life Cycle:
Broods:
multiple generations
Egg:
gray-green, laid singly on the tips of host leaves
Larva:
mottled green, brown and cream with two long, knobby horns on thorax
Host Plants:
Wild Cherry
   
Host Plants:
Host Plants:
Wild Cherry
   
Habitat:
Habitat:
open woodlands, forest edges and adjacent open areas
   
     
     
   
Wingspan:
Inches:
3 - 3.5
Centimeters:
7.6 - 8.9
   
Appearance:
Sexes:
similar
Compare:
Pipevine Swallowtail has hindwing tail and a low, rapid flight; continually flutters wings when nectaring.
   
     
     
Markings:
 

Above:

  • dark bluish black with iridescent blue scaling on hindwing and small orange and white spots near forewing apex  
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Below:

  • brownish black; hindwings have a row of redorange spots toward the outer margin and at wing base; forewing has orange cell bars  
 
Florida Distribution:
Abundance:
occasional
   

 

     

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Map Legend: Resident (green) | Stray (Red)


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